No doubt about it…what with a global pandemic, political unrest, and economic difficulties, life can be pretty upsetting right now. This is especially true for students, who no longer have the normal support of teachers, classmates, and school activities.
How can we help students who are suffering when we can’t meet in person? By uplifting thought.
In her edWeb.net webinar, “How Educators Can Respond to Students Experiencing Trauma”, Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., school counselor and author, provided some ideas and resources for aiding students. Here are a few:
- “Just Breathe” Original Film, at https://www.mindfulschools.org/inspiration/just-breathe-julie-bayer.salzman/.
The film discusses how to handle anger and provides an example of how to calm down. Ask students to combine the movie with 4×4 breathing (breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts).
- Cognitive Distortion for Kids: A Unit Plan, at https://lambiesanddinos.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/cognitive-distortions-for-kids-a-unit-plan/. Everyone struggles with unhelpful thoughts, and this blog describes a lesson plan to help kids identify them, realize that they are not the only ones dealing with them, and figure out how to handle negative thoughts.
- Triangle of Life, a free game-based walkthrough of Unhelpful Thoughts, teaches how to label feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and how they affect each other.
- Loom lesson on building empathy: Filio describes her adventurous aunt, who had spastic cerebral palsy, and includes a video about children with disabilities, at https://www.loom.com/share/0efd9f7545444e0d81ef2319b500bf45. The video, made by Unicef, is at https://sites.unicef.org/disabilities/index_65316.html.
For more information, see Filio’s blog at https://weekendtherapy.wordpress.com/how-educators-can-respond-to-students-experiencing-trauma/ and/or follow her on Twitter at @steffschoolcoun.